How to Safeguard Your Jewelry from Severe Weather
When severe weather is in the forecast, jewelry is not top-of-mind.
While heirlooms like family pictures, jewelry and other keepsakes are important, they definitely don't rank higher than pets, medications and other life-sustaining supplies.
If you're lucky to have ample warning prior to severe weather, whether you're evacuating or not, you may have a chance to gather your family heirlooms. But in case you don't, take these four precautions ahead of time:
1. Store seldom-worn jewelry in a bank safety deposit box year-round. Retrieving high-value pieces for special occassions is well worth the hassle for its added level of security.
2. Inventory your jewelry and take pictures or video. Make copies and keep one in a bank safety deposit box and keep another copy in a secure location at home. (If you evacuate and can't take your jewelry, at least have a copy of your inventory either on paper or on your phone.)
3. Regularly visit your jeweler to update the values of your jewelry and adjust your insurance coverage accordingly. Then if your jewelry falls victim to a natural disaster, you'll be much more likely to have enough coverage to replace it.
4. Choose the right insurance. Homeowners' insurance may not cover your jewelry if the severe weather isn't a covered cause of loss. And even if it is, you might not have enough coverage to replace your items since standard homeowners typically has a limit of just a couple thousand. Look into a standalone jewelry-specific policy to protect your jewelry from loss, damage, theft and mysterious disappearance.
When disaster strikes, the health and safety of you and your family are the top priority. Knowing you have insurance to help replace treasured jewelry provides huge peace of mind in emergency situations like these. If you know you have a backup plan, you can focus on more important things and cross one worry off your list.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published April 18, 2013 and has been updated.